Following is the APFA weekly HotLine update for July 18, 2008. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.
As of the date of this HotLine, the deadlines for participation in three of the voluntary options intended to reduce the need for furloughs are just days away. The deadline for electing the Voluntary Bridge to Retirement, open to Flight Attendants not currently on furlough, who will be at least 50 years old with at least 15 years company seniority by August 31, is Monday, July 21 at 2300 (11 p.m.) central time. Ballots for Overage Leaves of Absence and Partnership Flying, to be awarded if needed following the granting of the VBRs, will be accepted up until 10:30 a.m. central time on Monday, July 21. If you are interested in any of these three options, read the materials available on APFA.org, Jetnet and the Flight Service Website and contact an APFA rep at headquarters extension 8171 if you still have questions. The Partner Finder page of the “Reduction in Force” section on the APFA website is available for viewing requests posted by Flight Attendants looking to team up in the event partnerships are awarded. Fill out the online form to add your name to your baseís list. Note that the Webmaster can only receive and post your requests during normal business hours.
On Wednesday the 16th, AMR reported earnings for the period April through June of this year. Though better than analysts predicted, the $284 million loss compares to a $317 million profit the same quarter last year. The drop in earnings of roughly $600 million shows the impact of fuel costs, which increased by $800 million for the three-month period compared to 2007. Adding non-cash charges for the write down in aircraft and routes brings the total loss for the second quarter to $1.45 billion. In announcing the earnings, AMR CEO Gerard Arpey unveiled an accelerated retirement schedule for the A300 fleet, now to be completed by the end of 2009. In the meantime, deliveries of new Boeing 737 aircraft will add 70 more of this fuel-efficient plane to Americanís fleet throughout 2009 and 2010.
On the eve of the 12th anniversary of the tragic loss of all passengers and crew on board TWA flight 800, the FAA announced on Wednesday the 16th new rules requiring the upgrading of fuel tanks on large passenger jets. Aimed at preventing similar events caused by the explosion of built-up fumes, the new regulations will allow airlines up to ten years to complete the necessary fuel tank modifications.
If you are a Reserve Flight Attendant picking up trips, the following advice from the Scheduling Department is for you: a Reserve may relinquish a maximum of four duty-free periods for the purpose of performing supplemental flying. Any combination can be used for Optional Exchange or Limited Option II, while only two duty-free periods can be used for Sick Make-up flying. An Optional Exchange (OR) pickup on reserve duty-free periods will not create a 30-in-7 conflict with any reserve assignment. Supplemental flying is measured against the guarantee. Simply put, it is not paid ìon top ofî the monthly guarantee. Also note that submitting a Voluntary Purser (VP) ballot will be declined if the Flight Attendant is serving reserve for that month.
One last note for those retiring soon, the Wings Foundation wants you to know they can accept a donation of any or all of your unused PVDs. Contact your local base Wings rep to find out how you can still donate to help a colleague who is ill and almost out of sick time.
Remember we still have 1,188 Flight Attendants on furlough awaiting recall.
Please continue reading for an important call to action from the APFA Government Affairs committee.
This is an APFA ACTION ALERT ———- YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED
Dear APFA member,
As we continue our efforts to negotiate a contract that is responsive to your very real and urgent needs, we are asking all Flight Attendants to call their U.S. Senators and urge them to support Senate Bill 3268, the “Stop Excessive Oil Speculation” bill, introduced by Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV).
Phone the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.
This bill is supported by a wide coalition of labor and airlines and would, according to the Air Transport Association, “… accomplish our most important goals of putting reasonable limits on excessive speculation. This bill will ensure that formerly “dark,” over-the-counter markets, will now be required to comply with reasonable limits on speculative investing. In addition, the bill closes the “Foreign Board of Trade” or “London” loophole by requiring transparency and limits similar to US exchange limits.”
It is in our collective best interest to assist the Company in this endeavor, as the current fuel crisis not only impacts American Airlines, but also is the driver behind the current potential Reduction in Force.
APFA Government Affairs
Based on further discussions between APFA and the Company, an agreement has been reached to allow some of our members subject to furlough to be eligible to bid for and hold an Overage Leave or Partnership Flying.
Although all Flight Attendants subject to furlough will be allowed to proffer, ultimately the number eligible for consideration will be based on the number of Flight Attendants who were not in the 900 originally subject to furlough and who are awarded the VBR.
If you are subject to furlough and desire to bid for an Overage Leave or Partnership Flying, you can submit your ballot via the Flight Service website. For those interested in Partnership Flying, please note that you can only pair with another Flight Attendant subject to furlough.
The deadline for those subject to furlough will be 1030 Central Time on Friday, July 25.
The deadline for all other Flight Attendants remains 1030 Central Time on Monday, July 21.
It is anticipated that VBR awards will be available late in the day on July 22. Due to the complexity of awarding the Overage Leaves, and if necessary Partnership Flying, it is anticipated those awards will be available late in day on July 29.
From the APFA Contract Desk, this question has flooded in after Gerard Arpeyís announcement of the planned accelerated A300 retirements (all 34 aircraft by the end of 2009, instead of 10 this year and the remaining 24 by the end of 2012.)
Q. How do the accelerated retirements impact the 900 Flight Attendant overages that were announced earlier and that we are now trying to absorb?
A. According to the Companyís Manning department, the complete A300 fleet reduction by the end of 2009 was already taken into account when the overages were calculated.